It is not very often that I write anything about my personal life. Despite being a wrestler who performs weekly in front of crowds of people in different states, despite my activity social networking, despite my blogs, despite everything - I actually do not talk about myself outside of the ring very much at all.
On occasion, something from my life outside of wrestling creeps in however. This is one of those occasions. Taking the advice of someone very, very important to me, I have actually decided to write about it.
I moved down to Cincinnati a few years ago, and after about a year I met a woman that I fell in love with. We both worked together, so we decided to keep our relationship quiet for awhile, just to avoid workplace gossip and whatnot. After awhile though, people found out and it was all over that we were dating. Eventually we moved in together, and the relationship became very serious. She had her demons and her faults, just as I did. I tried to look past them however, and to help her out.
When I first moved back to Cincinnati, I was actually at a pretty low point in my life. My self confidence was shot, and I was going thru a very rough divorce. During my marriage, I tried to walk a fine line between my hopes & dreams, and trying to make someone else happy. In the end, I ended up having my hopes and dreams smashed to bits, and a wife that whored around with a band. So, I was back in my hometown, feeling pretty shitty about myself, and really just hating life. I picked up an injury at work to my eye, and I was out for a little while on workman's comp, until I could see again - and that was when we became involved. I was probably at my lowest point in life, and she pulled me out of it. She looked past all of my shortcomings and was there for me and was very supportive of me. I could never ever forget what she did for me.
But she had a drinking problem.
She wasn't your typical alcoholic. She was a binge drinker that also had an eating disorder. She would go 2-3 days without eating, and then she would gorge herself on alcohol. My father, my real father, had a drinking problem too, so I tried to help her, but I knew forcing the situation wasn't the way to go.
She was a few years older than me, and had three children. None of them lived with her, which should have been a red flag. I wanted to help her, so I decided I would be there for her, and try to be an example to her (which probably doesn't make much sense). I helped her start eating regularly, we started going to the gym together, and it eventually won the children over. I think they saw that I was making their mom a better person to be around; she was healthier.
Every once in awhile the alcoholic part would come roaring back. It would usually surface on a Friday night, when she would go out for drinks with a client, or to a golf outing, or something, and tie one on pretty good. When she did this, she would forget to pick up her children, she would foresake any plans, she would be impossible to get in contact with on her mobile phone. After a few times, I kinda learned to deal with it.
As our relationship got deeper, the subject of children would pop up. I never had any, and she had three, and was medically no longer able to have them. She broke down in tears one night telling me how much she wanted to make a baby with me, but couldn't. I told her that if it wasn't meant to be, then it wasn't. She then told me that she could tell I loved her kids, and that she wished that I was their father. I told her that I would always treat them as if they were mine.
Shortly after that, while putting in some late hours at work, I received a phone call that she had been in a very bad car accident. I rushed out the door and drove down to Kentucky to get her... from jail. It seems that at about 6:30pm that night, she plowed into a concrete wall on I-275, rather than pick a lane. She blew a .02 when they gave her a breath test - not enough to charge her. However, it was enough to let me know she had been drinking on the job. She refused to go to the doctor at all, and demanded to go home, where she went to sleep.
The next day she was hardly able to walk due to pain, so she went to the doctor, and it was discovered she had a level three concussion. There wasn't much they could do at this point, so they gave her medication to manage the symptoms. Keep in mind she wasn't an athlete going out to compete or anything - she was just having horrible headaches and was trying to work and be a mother. Over the next few weeks, she would call me in the middle of the day and ask me if I knew where she was supposed to be that day, because she was driving in a strange part of town and couldn't remember why. She was having blackouts.
Everything came to a head shortly after that. She had one of her Friday night adventures. Only this time, it was worse. Her ex-husband started calling me, worried because she was supposed to be picking up the kids for important things, and was unable to be contacted. I tried to get a hold of her, to no avail. I was up until the wee hours of the night, worried about where she was and fielding calls from her daughter.
Early the next morning, she came home. When I confronted her about where she had been, she tried to spin it around on me. It was my fault she had to spend the night in jail. Huh? What? Jail? Yeah, she had a blackout, and the cops pulled her over way out on the other side of town. Why was she out there? Why didn't she come home? According to her, she had a blackout from the concussion, and must have been driving around all night. She was pulled over and failed a sobriety test, and was arrested for driving while intoxicated. She blew a .14 I believe, which was almost twice the legal limit. She swears she wasn't drinking however. Her medication caused her to have that blood-alcohol level. We looked thru her phone to see who she called, and found no strange calls. However, her photo album revealed she went bar-hopping.
I honestly do not know what happened that night. I know that I was very angry with her. She hid the DUI from her children, but eventually had to spend a weekend in court ordered rehab. Her DUI almost cost her a new job she was just hired for, as having a suspended license would have made the job impossible. Somehow, she survived yet another one, and she amped up her drinking afterward. She stopped eating. She stopped working out at all. Her oldest daughter moved in with us after finishing school.
Things were getting tense. Her old medical issues resurfaced, and she was constantly in pain. She was drinking all the time, but hiding it by mixing vodka with lemonade. She thought it was hilarious that she was drinking "road pop" with the kids in the car. I was trying to be supportive, and be there for her, but I was clueless on what to do.
A few months later she ended up buying a house (my credit sucks - thanks wrestling!), and we moved in just as her oldest daughter became engaged. A wedding was set for when her beau returned on leave from bootcamp. We were starting to make a nice little home for ourselves, when, oddly, her awesome new job suddenly soured to her. She was constantly looking for schemes and jobs that she could do while using up her sick-days up for her company. Then, out of the blue one day, her company fired her. I have no evidence to back this up, but my gut feeling is they found out she was job-hunting while she was supposed to be out making deals, and they terminated her.
So suddenly she had a wedding to help pay for, a new house payment to make, in addition to a slew of other bills. Her company had paid for her car and her fuel, and that was now over. We were screwed. Yes. We. I looked at the situation and realized that she was sinking pretty damn low. I saw that she needed me. I actually made the decision that I was going to hang up my wrestling boots, so that I could be there for her more than ever. I informed her of this.
It was too late however. I was her scapegoat. Wrestling was to blame. Her DUIs, her unemployment, her situation was all because I was a wrestler. It was all my fault. It was never going to work out between us. Besides, we could never have a baby.
So, the week of her daughter's wedding, I moved all of my belongings out of the house. A house that was supposed to be our home. I didn't get all of my belongings either. While I was out looking for a place to live, she threw out a bunch of my stuff. Or kept it. Who knows. I am missing a ton of CDs, videos, clothes - whatever. Oh, and don't forget how in a drunken rage she threw herself in front of my moving truck, as if I were a tank in Tienanmen Square.
What the fuck Dana? I still do not get your train of thought after all this time. I just don't.
I didn't get it, and I still do not. Why in the world would you push away the person in your life ready and willing to be there for you when your times were darkest? Why would you go thru the trouble and effort and the love required to rescue me from my doldrums, only to push me away when you needed me to do the same for you? I was prepared, and in a way looking forward to making sacrifices and going thru hard times with you. That is not what you wanted though.
You tried to paint me as a monster to your children, which is what hurt the most. I loved those kids. Still do, really. I miss sitting around and playing Rockband with them, or our home being full of kids every weekend.
I was pissed at you, and I still am, for you being a pussy. You chose the life of an alcoholic over me. That is not something that I am just saying, because you stood in the kitchen, leaning over the counter with tears welling up in your eyes and said that you were tired of feeling tied down by trying to be what you thought that I wanted, and you needed to do what you wanted to do.
By all reports that I have received from everyone who has ever ran into you, what you wanted to be was a full blown alcoholic. I have heard from people that have seen you at nine in the morning that they thought you were drunk. I have had people tell me that they thought you looked like you were on meth. Every time I hear these things, a little piece of me would die inside, a little bit of my heart would break. I wished that you would have let me be there for you.
I think back to how we talked about how we would grow old, and we would get a house with a porch swing, and we would sit out on the swing and watch the sun go down, and play with the grandkids and be happy together. I remember how when we were arguing, right before the end, how you said that was all bullshit, and that you knew it would never happen.
The other day, I was talking to someone very very important to me. She sent me a link to a house that she was looking into perhaps getting. The house had a pretty awesome looking front porch, and she mentioned how it would be pretty cool to get a porch swing, and we could sit out there together.
That made me realize something: I already have what we were supposed to have. I have Shannon, and she is awesome. She loves me. I know this, because she does not hesitate to write me an email or a letter to tell me. She will make me wonderful things to let me know she loves me. When I feel like shit, she lets me know that I am her world. She picks me up when I am down. And she lets me do the same thing for her. When she is having a bad day, she tells me about it, and then I do what i can to cheer her up. She tells me how much this means to her. She tells me that I am doing something right.
This week, I heard two different stories from completely different sources about your exploits recently. The two stories just so happen to confirm each other. From what I understand, your license was suspended? You have no car? You once gain have no job? You have no money, yet you still go out drinking, and offer to sleep with whomever will pay your bar tab?
Well, I have a job. I have food on my table. I get to do what I love to do just about every weekend. I have a beautiful, wonderful intelligent woman in my life that loves me as much as I love her. She has no clue how much her comment about a porch swing meant to me.
I am so fucking over you. That is why I call you the Red-Headed Monster. You attempted to ruin my life, just like so many others have hurt me. Yet, I am still standing. This Armenian sumbitch does not go down easy.
Karma is a bitch.
I love you Shannon.